27 Sep, 2011 @ 16:32
1 min read

Former Ronda mayor arrested in corruption sting

EXCLUSIVE By Jon Clarke and James Bryce

A team of crack anti-corruption police have raided Ronda town hall in the latest crackdown on urban planning fraud.

So far the team from the National Police’s elite UDYCO department have arrested seven people, including the former Ronda mayor Antonio Marin Lara.

After a year of investigations, anti-fraud investigators believe the group are guilty of ‘various economic crimes’ going back a number of years.

These could include fraud, forgery, bribery, money-laundering, trafficking of influence and false documentation.

The investigators have not yet revealed to which cases the crimes are said to have been linked.

However all charges are linked to urban planning discrepancies and could include the passing of controversial golf development Los Merinos two years ago.

The double golf course scheme with 800 houses and three luxury hotels was given permission by the town hall despite it being sited inside a Unesco-protected zone and failing to get a permit for water.

This morning staff arriving for work in various offices affected were prevented from entering the premises as further police arrived with large numbers of empty boxes to remove files and documents.

Police also seized documents from then home of former mayor Marin Lara – known locally as Toti – and already have numerous other bits of evidence.

The order to swoop came after a year in which prosecutor Valentin Bueno tapped telephones and investigated various cases, it is understood.

Those arrested also include the secretary of the PSOE party Francisco Canestro and two former councillors Maria Jose Martin de Haro and Rafael Lara.

The PSOE has now formally suspended all of them, while investigations continue.

James Bryce

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575


  1. It’s been a long time in coming … Indeed since the first ever edition of the olive press five years ago that revealed that Ronda town hall had allowed golf developers at Los Merinos to block the international footpath the GR7 that goes from Tarifa to Athens… Let’s See if police also arrest anyone from the PP party too… Given their blind and slavish support of the Los Merinos scheme!!!!

  2. Is this a new game?? arresting, investigation of dozens of Mayors, and then their re- election??
    My local Mayor and a number of his stuff have also been arrested/under investigation…but also re-elected…business as usual!!
    All a total farce!

  3. Good story. Once it gets to the courts though the defendants can expect years of trial whilst free on bail followed by, if found guilty, a couple of years chokey at most and being barred fom public office, usually for the same duration as their prison stay, so they can emerge to a new job that their political mates have waiting for them and collect all their hidden loot.

    How about an update with all the public servants found guilty and their respective “punishments”.

  4. He deserves everything he gets … he was a nasty liar in my personal experience!
    Hope the punishment fits the crime so it acts as a deterrent so it won’t happen again.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Feature BasilicaInterior
Previous Story

Who is the new ‘Pope’ of the Palmarians?

Next Story

Saudi prince hits back at Spanish rape claims

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press